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Student Spotlight: Gage Grimsley

Gage Grimsley is from Ellijay, GA. He is a senior at JSU majoring in Music Education with a focus in Percussion.

What are some of your hobbies? 

My favorite hobby is reading! I’ve a huge Stephen King fan ever since I discovered that I got my name from Pet Cemetery.

What is your favorite thing to eat on/off campus? 

My favorite thing to eat on campus is the fried rice bowl with general tso chicken from Mein Bowl. My goodness. It’s so good.

Why did you decide to attend JSU?

The main reason I decided to attend JSU was to follow in the footsteps of many of my role models. Multiple percussionists that I have looked up to ever since I was a kid got their degree from JSU, and I wanted to be a part of that history.

Why did you choose your major/minor? 

I chose Music Education because every music educator that came into my life when I was a child helped steer my life into the right direction. I have a passion for making a positive impact on the youth of our nation, and if I can combine that passion with my knowledge of percussion, I know that I can make a huge positive impact on the lives of children.

What was your first introduction to music?

My first introduction to music was in Kindergarten, watching the Atlanta Percussion Trio!

Are you involved in any clubs/organizations?

I am a member of the Jacksonville State University Marching Southerners Drumline!

What has been your favorite course so far? 

My favorite course so far has been Percussion Ensemble because it molds our studio members into high-quality chamber musicians and encourages student leadership. My favorite non-music class is Honors Intro to Literature, taught by Dr. John Jones, because he really liked a paper I wrote about The Fault in Our Stars and how it was a terrible book making a terrible influence on teenagers.

What has been the most impactful experience you’ve had as a college student?

One particular day when I was a freshman taking lessons, I was feeling very down on myself. I felt as though I was an imposter surrounded by endless talent in the studio. My applied professor, Mr. Clint Gillespie, saw it on my face as soon as I stepped into his office for a lesson. I told him everything that was on my mind, and that I felt like I wasn’t getting any better. He asked me if I’ve ever been to Kansas. I said no. He told me that if you drive from one side of Kansas to the other, it will seem like you’re not really getting anywhere. Almost like you’re driving across on a big plain. When you finally reach the other side of the state, and you look behind you and see where you’ve come from, you can look across the entire state.You wouldn’t even know that you’ve reached the highest point. But you wouldn’t get there if you gave up and turned back around. I’m never going to forget that.

What do you love most about JSU’s music program? 

What I love most about JSU’s music program is how serious our faculty takes the objective of building quality musicians and educators. Nobody ever said it was going to be easy, but, in the end, we’re all going to be better for going through this program.

What are your post-grad plans? 

Right now, my post-grad plans are to attend graduate school for Music Performance. I would really like to come back here and give back to the university that gave me everything.

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